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Archive for April, 2010

Dancing snake Culture in danger

Posted by sadiahaidarig on April 15, 2010

snake charmer

A snake charmer is perfoming his art onthe road side

Dancing snake Culture in danger In this spring I was in Murree hill station with my family where I saw a snake charmer (Sapara or Jogi) who was sitting in the public place along his big container covered with the old dirty piece of cloth and two holes flute, it was surprising for me, a snake charmer it is an icon of our culture. But he was disappearing from the cities after 1992 Act when they were banned to keep the snake with them.

 Ancient Egypt was home to one form of snake charming, though the practice as it exists today likely arose in Pakistan. Morocco and Tunisia were also their home. Snake dancing is the Arabian culture.

After few minutes the snake charmer started playing his double flute (which called Pungi and Been) then he open the cloth and takeoff the basket lid .Suddenly the cobra was appear from the basket the cobra was rising to approximately one third of its body lengths with spread a hood, It was amazing that another element of the defensive posture, by spreading its ribs located in the neck under elastic skin.

The cobra is most popular as a source of public amusement. Snake-charmers use this highly venomous elapid specie to entertain people in a very odd way. Everything is so strange: the snake-charmer sits cross-legged playing his flute and the snake in front of him sways to the sounds in a standing position, ready to bite. But it doesn’t!

The exotic sight of these mystical men appealing snakes to dance to the music of flutes has long captured the imagination of foreign tourists.

The dexterity with which the charmers handle snakes such as cobras and vipers added to the allure of the street performances. The practice of snake charming, catching snakes, keeping them in captivity for extended periods, and training them to perform has traditionally been passed from father to son. For generations, it has provided a critical means of support to many families.

Large numbers of snake charmers once could be seen walking in the streets, towns especially in country yards carring covered baskets in old dirty cloth hanging on their shoulders. They never staying in one place for more than six months, snake charmers have an almost mythical attachment to snakes and especially cobras. But such sights are increasingly rare, as snake charmers have become an endangered species.

At a site near the public places and parks where snake charmers have long gathered, those who still practice the traditional and old cultural art have declined.

Bashir an illiterate and a snake charmer by profession, still inhabits the site. He was with long hair,

snake charmer

Snake charmer playing his flute to catch the audience's attantion

a mustered turban, yellow long gown over his local dress and necklaces of shells or beads. He said his life had become very difficult since the officials of security authorities and police restricted him and his fellows in the urban areas. He has handled snakes since he was a child, and snake charming performances have been the only source of bread earning for his family.

“ I am on the verge of starvation since I can only make street performances for fear of getting arrested by the police in Urban areas. Some time I earn hundred Rupees a day and some time nothing and return to slums,” he said.

“It is very dangerous profession, even if a snake charmer were bitten; the bite would not necessarily cause much damage. While some cobras have venom that is 20 times as powerful as that of a rattlesnake, it is difficult to assess the potency of such venom exactly, since the deadliness of a bite depends on a variety of factors relating both to the victim and to the snake. My two friends killed by snake bite But still I love my profession even it is disrespectful.” he explained

 “We learnt the basic techniques to handle the snake from our forefathers. My two years old son plays with snake.” He said with excitment.

 Many snake charmers are taking out snake’s venom before their performance in public gathering. Many snake charmers have left their ancestral profession due to abject poverty. A few of them carrying their cloth-covered baskets are now seen begging near traffic signals in posh areas while others are seen playing their flutes at weddings and local festivals in slum areas. Snake charmers today are struggling for survival – the victims of growing poverty and the advent of commercial ventures.


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Immigration is hard Task for human being(My project )

Posted by sadiahaidarig on April 6, 2010


Story of immigrant lovers varies from country to country. They love each other but they have many problems to confront because of different culture in the countries where they may be living. No sympathy for them despite strong evidence of   love that they may show for each other. All such differences only create hurdles in their desire to marry and live together as happily as they could do. 

One such instance was of an Afghan boy Jamshad and a Pakistani girl Sehar who lived in Islamabad. The boy was a migrant in Pakistan. The two fell in love and expressed their desire to get married. 

But no, their love failed to convince the parents of the girl. They did not permit their daughter   to   marry him because he was living as an immigrant in Pakistan.

The boy had migrated from Afghanistan during the war against former Soviet Union in the year 1983.He had different culture, different language, different nationality and different social status.

 The girl’s parents wanted their daughter to be safe and secure. .They believed since the boy was a foreigner, he could not ensure better future for their daughter.They have no experience of this type of commitment before.

Later, they married on their own and continued to live in Islamabad despite opposition from their families. Unfortunately after their marriage the husband was killed by Taliban when he returned to his country after twenty years.  His wife was a Pakistani national.

She tried to immigration of Canada from UNCHR .Her In-laws live there but she was not granted visa when she applied to the UN office in Islamabad for immigration .UN refused her immigration case and said that she was Pakistani. Her children are Afghan nationals and after marriage she too had become an Afghan national. 

A woman on the basis of Islamic law after marriage becomes the national of the country of her husband. But this girl could not get the nationality of the country of her husband. She applied but she couldn’t get.

There are many couples and families are living miserable life with the label of refugee in Pakistan they have no Identification and respect. Migration of people to other countries takes place from all corners of the world with the different social and cultural background .When such people meet and start living together, a new cosmopolitan culture develops better known as melting pot of cultures .Such cultures are more liberal, self- centered and more materialistic. The cultural component is related to the life-style and ethnicity influences both the former and new countries. The ethnic composition of the new country may affect international migration .Many people marry just to get the citizenship of another country.

After 2001 this trend slowed down .Before 2001 the ratio of migration all over the world was very high and marriages among people with different culture, different religions had become a matter of   routine.

 Since after 9/11 this practice declined the migration to the Western world almost came to an end. The governments of those countries changed their policies and made it difficult for the people to immigrate.

After Sept  11, 2001, when the American and British Armed Forces entered Afghanistan to fight against the Taliban  a number of Afghans fled  to Pakistan. By the end of 2001, approximately five million Afghans   took refuge in Pakistan, which also included those born in this country during the past 20 years.

 Now for over last three decades Pakistan has been hosting the largest single refugee population in the world. United Nations reported that total immigrant population in Pakistan was estimated at 3,254,000. It comprises 2.1% of the total population in Pakistan and that ranks 13th in the world.

According to the United Nations report International Migration Profiles 2002, the immigrant population in the country was 1,098,110 in 1990 and then, 1,412,560 in 2000.But 1.78 million registered Afghan refugees still remain in Pakistan.
The seven largest immigrant groups in Pakistan comprise Afghans, Sari Lankans, Bangladeshis, Tajiks, Biharis, Burmese and Britons including a sizeable number of those of Pakistan origin. Other significant expatriate communities in Pakistan comprise Armenians, Chinese, Filipinos and many more from different countries.Migrants from the Arab world specially Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen are in thousands.

We know Human migration has always been a common phenomenon under push and pull factors in the human history. Presumably this flux is rooted in the desire of the rural populace to improve their quality of life by ensuring better future for them. But some people argue that what one person may think is best interest for him could only be a delusion.

refuge boy drinking unhealthy water in his camp

They say a desire to lead a better life in developed countries can be shattered due to the problems of overcrowding, pollution, poverty and unemployment.

In this way migration can reduce some of the problems being faced by developing countries.Migration may relieve labour market pressure and generate remittances that could be an important source for earning foreign exchange and raise income for migrant families.

Financial and human capital transfer occurring through migration can have a positive impact as they help improve the quality of life back home and promote socio-economic development.

On the negative side the action of migrants can also affect development of their own areas   because most dynamic and ambitious people have a greater tendency to leave their native places and settle in the big cities of the developed countries. This increases the cost of the property and raises rents in developed areas.

Consequently, these who have migrated for earning bread and butter are forced to live in the slums where they may confront problems.

 This also leads to mushroom growth of slums which takes place particularly in the developed countries. It is a common knowledge that people migrate to other areas when they are not satisfied with local conditions. This is especially true when they do not have job opportunities, educational and public facilities.

However, people living in communities and community institutions constitute main factors in social action. Thus the conditions of community institutions reflect the strength and shortcomings of community life.

Provision of jobs and good working conditions, higher wages, better educational opportunities, better prospects of life, better health and recreational facilities, freedom of marriage, safety and security of life, political awareness of the people lure the people to the lands of their choice.

There are, however other aspects as well since the migration of semi skilled and illiterate people creates multiple problems in the Western and developed countries.In developing countries the migration is generally towards the cities or more specifically towards the metropolitan and Corporation areas.

The migration to a large extent is the migration of very poor unskilled people living under distressed conditions and skilled illegal immigrant don’t allow to get the job in industries and other fields .Economic base of these countries is not strong to absorb a majority of them and this sets a competition between the locals and migrants which creates tension between them.

A large number of marginally employed migrants cannot afford to pay good rent and hence they move into shanty houses. Local civic bodies fall short of funds and thus fail to expand facilities.The dilapidated shanties and inadequate services reflect the inability of the urban authorities to cope with problems of the cities…

Squatters and slum dwellers being mainly migrants from the countryside and countries hit hard by conflicts and terrorism have woeful tales to narrate about the lack of opportunities in developed countries. The growth of slum and squatter communities also creates problems for policy makers and planners.
People of war-hit countries are fast migrating to developed countries. Huge Metropolitan and corporation centers have their own problems. These include unemployment, poor sanitation, shortage of drinking water, housing, transportation, education health care facilities and increasing crimes and law and order situation.

Migration is one of the most important factors affecting the economy and social composition of cities. Migration can reshape the social structure of the cities in a few decades leading to economic and social problems regarding employment opportunities health care education and the provision of social facilities.

refugee family move toard their home country

In Pakistan most of temporary migrants from underdeveloped countries are forced to sleep and live under conditions which are not at all complete family units such as over-crowded and unhealthy barracks and incomplete buildings.  Some of them are compelled to sleep under bridges or in open spaces while many of them have to live in mud houses.

 Migration is of two types. One of these is international and the other is internal .International migration occurs when people leave their own countries for foreign lands. The internal migration is from rural areas to urban areas but all types of immigration are in search of better life. Both are very dangerous for undeveloped countries in third world. These countries can’t afford the burden of the immigrant due to lack of life sources.
 Immigration to Pakistan refers to the movement of non-residents to Pakistan, often in search of asylum. Immigration policy is overseen by the Interior Minister of Pakistan through the directorate General of Immigration & Passports. The Government of Pakistan ordered all the provincial governments to take serious action against illegal immigrants following September 11 attacks, who entered the country after 2001. In Pakistan the temporary and illegal migrants from undeveloped war affected countries are that most of then are forced to sleep and live in situation highly unsuited to complete family units such as in overcrowded unhealthy barracks, unfinished buildings and under bridges in the open and majority live in mud houses.

There are estimated number of illegal immigrants are living in different areas in Pakistan is 3.35 million. As of January 2010, the illegal immigrants in Karachi are estimated to be between 1.6 and 2 million people. Thousands of illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan ,Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and from several other countries of Africa and Middle East regions entered the country and are illegally living in Karachi, twin cities, Peshawar, Quata  and several other countries were detained without bond. There was no evidence that these individuals had been involved in terrorist (or even criminal) activity; they were detained, instead, due to immigration law technicalities. Moreover, many were family members of Pakistan citizens or permanent residents who were therefore eligible for immigration benefits including thousands of Muslim students from Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Government of Pakistan introduces the new stricter rule for arriving asylum, permanent and temporary immigrant’s applications recently. All immigrants who are often in desperate need of Pakistani Government help, since if forced to return to their home countries, they will face persecution there and must be immediately registration themselves and indefinitely detained by the NADARA and collubration of UN.


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Militants , Taliban and Al-Qaeda

Posted by sadiahaidarig on April 3, 2010

Militants or Taliban and Al-Qaeda Taliban have become the most talked about subject in the world. But Taliban, Mujahiden, Al-Queda and Militant there are different groups.Al-qaeda wear white turban or caps and Taliban wear black turban it is very clear diffrence in them. Taliban are at war in Afghanistan in with many other countries and this has made them the most talked about in the world.

This war has been a cause of massive bloodshed. It is believed that more than one million people have lost their lives and the war is raging with full ferocity. But the most important question that should be asked is who is doing it. Taliban and militants according to some people are different entities but Al Qaeda is different group which is not active in Pakistan and Afghanistan now. It may be stated that Muslims have been the victim in this war.

 How then Muslims can be blamed for waging this war as many people try to do it.

Mujahideen were used in Afghanistan against the forces of former Soviet Union. They were then called heroes of the war and hailed for their courage around the world before 9/11.Who trained them for war against Soviet Union to get the aim.

 A new force, known as Taliban emerged after the withdrawal of Russia from Afghanistan. The Taliban were the students of the Islamic religious schools. It was believed that most of these schools were based in Pakistan boarders.

Taliban captured Kabul in Sept 1996 and declared themselves from the order of superpower to be the new rulers of Afghanistan. Only three countries, Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia extended recognition to the Government of Taliban .Iran and Iraq and other gulf countries didn’t accept the rule of Taliban over Afghanistan and against their ruling. The Taliban named their country, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

They claimed that about 95 per cent of the Afghan territory was under their rule. They implemented Islamic system in the Islamic country which many people said was very harsh. People including women were flogged in public. Women were ordered to observe strictly banned in the markets and to stay indoors. They couldn’t come out from their homes without big veil. All the institutions for girls were closed down as the education of females was banned in the country. The life of females is very horrible during the Taliban rule.

This gave cause to lot of resettelment in foreign countries. But the situation completely changed after 9/11.The United States was attacked from the air by four hijacked aircraft or preplanned mission by superpowers. The United States accused Al-Qaeda leadership based in Afghanistan for planning the attack. It asked the Taliban to expel the Al Qaeda leaders from Afghanistan but they refused to do.

The Americans took it for an insult and attacked over Afghanistan. They occupied the country in Dec 2001 and drove out Taliban from office. The Taliban after lying low for some years have hit back and the fighting continues till this day.

America is being assisted by many Western Powers. Many people believe that the United States and the Western States have their own objective in Afghanistan. This, they think is very dangerous for the whole area. America is falling down by this Afghan war USA can not afford more war in Afghanistan soil. Government of America announced that they withdraw in 2011.

One such perception is that they wish to exercise control over the region and wish to dominate it from Afghanistan. Well, this may be true or not but the whole world is passing through sever agony. However, one thing is common. The people of Afghanistan have had the misfortune of passing through the worst pain. Whether it was the occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet Union or the rule of Taliban or the presence of Coalition forces, every time it was the common man of Afghanistan who had been the victim of the war and this war extend and cross the boarder toward Pakistan. Pakistani innocent people are also victim of this dirty bloody war.

What is most urgently needed now is peace for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have had enough of war. Why should people come from all over the world to settle their scores in Afghanistan and Pakistan? What then would bring peace to the country?

 People especially the big and superpowers which are deeply involved in this war should arrive at some settlement. It should be remembered that all wars had come to an end. At one stage or the other negotiations were held to bring most of the wars to an end. Wars which were fought to the last had left complete devastation in their wake. One can cite the instance of World War II.

 Europe had to rise from ashes after that war. Should Afghanistan and Pakistan also rise from the ashes. Please don’t let that happen. Don’t add one bloodier chapter to the history of the world. The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan would not be able to take it. Have mercy on them. They deserve it from fellow human beings.

 Why negotiations could not be held to end the bloody war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Asif Ali Zardari President of Pakistan said he was ready to hold talks with Taliban. Americans too have shown their interest in talks. Pakistan Army playing their role in the positive dialogue with Taliban and offered them political positions and share in the social and financial sectors for developments.

Please do hold talks for the peace of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, for the peace of the region, for the peace of the world and last but not the least for the peace of yourselves .If the old foes in the history of the world could become fast and close friends, why not those who are at one another’s throat in Afghanistan.

 People of this region hate the policies of American and other alliances of this war for their region. America can play the vital role to improve and restore its respect and reputation again in this region .

The country belongs to the people of Afghanistan and ultimately they will be its rulers. This fact is as hard as the mountains. The sooner it is realized, the better it would be for all. This is the lesson of history, alas if only people would learn from it. This is especially true for those who are now waging a bitter war through the length and the breadth of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

US President Barack Obama during his visit to Afghanistan on March 28 said that the United States would become less secure if the Taliban again gained power in that country. 

This says it all, the Americans and the other Western powers will keep watch on Afghanistan and Pakistan. They would not let any element even if slightly hostile to them to take over this region.

The Americans may start withdrawing from Afghanistan next year as announced by the US President but then again will they be able to do it. It would indeed be difficult for the Americans to leave Afghanistan and just watch their interests from distance. They say their security is involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan .Remember, no country in the world could abandon its security and then Americans will ever take such a risk. No, they will not. It is not just Afghanistan and Pakistan that would attract their attention, many other countries in the region would also be under the scrutiny of the Americans. So you can say father can keep his eye over his sons.

The Americans and their Western friends would never like Iran, China or Russia to expand their influence in the region. They already say that Iran poses security problems for them. Every now and then, they are asking for imposing more and more restrictions on Iran. Their common argument is that Iran could pose serious problems for them, because as they say it soon possesses a nuclear bomb. Every now and then they say it is working hard to build one and they also say they would never tolerate it. The matter does not come to an end here .

The Western powers; especially the Unites States of late do feel comfortable with President Hamid Karzai. According to latest reports, Americans do not like his close alliance with some Afghan warlords .These warlords are also accused by some of providing strength to insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan against foreign powers. It may be stated that the two Vice-Presidents of Afghanistan have been prominent warlords. Another issue that annoys the Americans is that Hamid Karzai is trying to strike friendship with some Taliban leaders.

 They say is being done without their approval. The prevalence of rampant corruption in Karzai’s Government is also a source of serious disturbance for the United States. This hampers the efforts of Afghan Government to effectively fight against militancy in their country.

The other reason for discomfort for the Americans is drug trafficking in Afghanistan. This they say helps the militants to wage war against the Coalition forces. According to reports Afghanistan is the largest drug producer in the world. With these facts, as clear as broad daylight, does anybody then think that foreign forces especially the Americans will pull out of Afghanistan? No, it does not appear possible. Certainly not in the near future.

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